Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 25 - Chicago

Before our tour - a Chicago building view from Millennium Park. A blue-windowed building against a perfectly blue sky made a good photo

In Millennium Park, Chicago - a mirrored "egg"

Another view of the Millennium Park "egg" reflecting a distorted Chicago skyline

They were playing classical music when this picture was taken. A well thought-out acoustically enhanced open-air concert field in Millennium Park, Chicago

The elevated railway line in the heart of the University of Chicago, Hyde Park, Chicago. The tube structure completely drowns out the noise from trains. There are student classrooms right next to this railway line

We were told that Frank Lloyd Wright once lived here. We think he was a world famous architect. Located in posh Hyde Park, Chicago

One of the many elaborate mansions in Hyde Park, Chicago - this property would sell at $10M plus

A big surprise! This is located in the heart of Hyde Park, Chicago. The car in front with a driver is a Secret Service Agent vehicle. The road is blocked and nobody is allowed in without a valid reason - why? Because this is the street that President Barak Obama and his family lived (and still lives) before they moved to the White House. Their house is on the left and near the vehicle in the centre.

Back in 1942 and two stories below this monument was the first time that Uranium isotopes was controlled to create nuclear energy - a precursor to making an atom bomb. Located in the University of Chicago, Hyde Park, Chicago

A view of Chicago from Soldier Field - showing the Willis Tower

Another Chicago skyline from Soldier Field showing the tall Trump tower

It was very windy being next to Lake Michigan..but a beautiful clear day. From Solder Field, Chicago

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago - any similarity to the one in London?

The Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, Chicago - a great place for children to play around the water on a hot day. Today was a warm day and many kids were enjoying the free dowsing of H2O

They say if you rub the lion's tail you will have good luck. Located along the famous Michigan Ave, Chicago. The helmet on the lion is temporary because the Chicago hockey team the "Blackhawks" were playing last night.

Leaving Chicago along Michigan Av heading north

This is the famous American baseball team the "Cubs" home ground - Wrigley Field. They haven't won a grand final for over 100 years. Nevertheless this view is showing how enterprising shops have utilised their rooftops to view the game from outside the stadium

Another great surprise - this view is a Nursing Home located in the Lincoln Park suburb north of Chicago downtown. Why take this picture - back in 1929 it was the site of the St Valentine's Day massacre between Bugsy Malone's gang and Al Capone's men

This was the home of Hugh Hefner of Playboy fame. His motto "if you can't swing, don't ring". Located along North State Parkway, Near North, Chicago

This view is located along North State Street, Near North, Chicago. Apparently the indentation below the security camera and about three brick layers down and to the left is a bullet hole made by an assassin that killed a famous 1926 gangster Hymie Weiss. The church is the Holy Name Roman Catholic Cathedral

Our tour guide recommended the Clark Street Dog cafe for one of Chicago's famous hot dogs. The above is one of their specialities with chili & cheese fries - they were delicious

We had our four hour tour of the south and north sides of Chicago today. We caught the train to the Palmer Hotel on Monroe Street and boarded our tour bus. The full length bus had only six passengers therefore it was quite comfortable and more personal throughout our ride. We visited many sites however the highlights were Hyde Park south of Chicago. The locals call this "Obamaland" being the home of America's current President. The security around his house was protected heavily - and rightly so. Barak and his family do go home on occasions. Our tour guide was great. A black American, Chicago born and knew every location about his hero Barak Obama - where his first meeting with Michelle, where he ate breakfast and so on. On the north side we visited places where the 1920's gangsters used to frequent along with their infamous massacre locations. Overall it was a great day - quite relaxed. After last nights thunderstorms and rain, today brought out a perfect warm day with clear blue skies. This is our last day in Chicago and we enjoyed every bit of this great city. We totally recommend to anybody to visit this place in their US itinerary but only in summer. The winters here are brutal & criminal according to our tour guide. We will be leaving early tomorrow. Ralph is on the street underneath a tree that is dropping all its pollen and leaves. For a black car this ain't good. Before we head off we need to spend some time brushing all the crap off. Also, it will certainly be a headache driving west from our location. The major roads are tollways which we will try to avoid. It will be a long drive - out of Illinois and into Iowa passing Iowa City, the capitol Des Moines and onto Winterset. Winterset is the birthplace of John Wayne and its the famous location of the bridges of Madison County. We will be staying in another B&B. Until tomorrow - cheers.  

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